Working With a Contractor
8 questions to ask potential contractors.
Your home is your most valuable possession. So when it comes to installing a new window or door, don’t risk your comfort and financial well-being with a partner who’s not qualified for the job. If you decide to go with an independent contractor for your project, regardless of your familiarity with their work, make sure you ask these important questions before you sign on the dotted line.
- How long have you been in business? Experience level is a strong indication of that company’s or contractor’s proficiency at window replacement. Ask about their specific experience with window installations like yours over the past year.
- Do you have your own crew or do you subcontract? A contractor who employs full-time employees is usually a good indication that the contractor has enough business to stay busy year-round – a good sign that the contractor delivers quality results.
- Besides the warranty on the window, what type of warranty do you offer on the installation? How would I handle service issues after the installation is complete? Any window you choose will come with a product warranty. But that’s only half the story. You’ll want a contractor who’ll guarantee the installation and address any installation-related issues that may arise.
- Do you have a list of referrals? A contractor is only as good as the most recent project they’ve completed. If they’re proud of their work and know they have satisfied customers, they should be more than happy to provide you names of referrals.
- What’s your approach to a project like mine? This open-ended question gives the contractor a chance to explain their approach to window replacement, while also revealing insight into how they do business in general.
- What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business? For contractors, the best customers are often their current customers. Many homeowners complete their home improvement projects in phases. Retaining the same contractor for the next part of the job shows confidence in the quality of the work.
- Can you install in any weather? While extreme rain, wind or snow doesn’t create ideal replacement conditions, an experienced contractor should know how to isolate their work area during inclement weather so there's little to no disruption to the rest of your home.
- Have you or your crew been certified? Have you had any special training or education? Certification can indicate that a person takes pride in their work and wants to be recognized for their professional capabilities, as well as continue to build new skills in their field.